ORUCC Weekly Announcements for December 21

Spiritually Alive, Joyfully Inclusive, Committed to Justice

Week at a Glance December 21



Thursday, December 21

4:00 – 5:15 pm

Zoom (see below)

Becky Baumbach

Flicker Wild Church

Solstice Celebration

Thursday, December 21

4:00 – 5:30 pm

Donald Park

Julia Burkey & Daniel Cooperrider

(see details below)

Christmas Eve Services

Sunday, December 24

10:00 am Worship

Christmas Carol Sing

Lay Liturgist: Lauren Amburn

Advent Candle-lighters: The Haskins Family

3:00 pm Christmas Eve Service

Children of ORUCC Share Music of Hope

5:30 pm Intergenerational Christmas Eve

Candlelight Service with ORUCC & MMC

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 25

The ORUCC Office is Closed 12/25-1/1

In case of pastoral emergency,

Pastor Julia on call December 25 – December 31st

Pastor Ken on call January 1- January 11th

Meditation Group

Friday, December 29

9:30 am – 10:30 am

Sue Dixon


Flicker Wild Church, Solstice Gathering

Thursday Dec 21, at 4pm

We will circle around a fire at Donald County Park (Pop’s Knoll entrance), as we honor the Winter Solstice through words, silence, community, and communion with the more-than-human world. We will watch the sun sink at its lowest point on the horizon, and we will call it back, using human prayer on this day as an ancient form of spiritual technology to take up our place in the turning of the year, and the returning of the light. Bring your own chair, a warm beverage and a tasty treat to share if you’d like.


See here for more details on the gathering, and for more information on Flicker Wild Church in general, let by Pastor Julia Burkey and her spouse Daniel Cooperrider.

Christmas Eve Celebrations December 24

Sunday December 24, 2023

10:00 am – cocoa, cookies & Christmas carols! Join for a festive and joyful morning service where we light the 4th candle of Advent and transition to Christmas Eve! Feel free to wear jammies or something festive.

3:00 pm – Children & Youth Christmas Eve Music & Candlelight service, led by the ORUCC children who will play original and classic Christmas music in the theme of “Hope,” sharing with us that “Hope grows.” Our youth rock band Tru Function will play!

5:30 pm – Christmas Eve Candlelight service with Madison Mennonite Church & ORUCC, reading through the Gospel of Luke in the Indigenous Translation of the New Testament, with beloved Christmas music to sing together. ORUCC choir will sing!

We can’t wait to see you at one or all of these services

Christmas Light Show

Looking for Christmas lights and cheer? Gabe Martens has the answer! Come to 10 Quarterdeck Drive, Madison and watch from your car a beautiful light and song display. Tune to 92.5 as you watch from your car.


Merry Christmas!



for you!

For the week of Dec. 21 – Dec. 27


Read this week’s reflections as a way to dive deeper into your spiritual practice or to get some nourishment and inspiration

for your day.

Click here for reflections Dec. 21-27


We are grateful for the ministry of Jeanne Moberly who is a member of Adult Faith Formation, as she puts together a set of fresh readings every week for our devotional practice at Orchard Ridge UCC. You will see these posted daily if you are part of the “Members & Friends” Facebook group. You can also send your email address to Jeanne at LINK and she will email them directly to you weekly.

Women’s Book Group

January 4, 1:30 pm – 3:00


ORUCC Women’s Book Group will meet on Zoom on January 4, 2024 from 1:30 pm to 3 pm. At this meeting we will discuss which books we would like to read over the 2024 year. I would like to compile a list for people to use prior to the meeting, so if possible please email me your suggestions by December 31. Also please consider facilitating the discussion the month your recommended book comes up. This is not mandatory, but is very much appreciated.

If you receive book group emails and would like to be removed from the list please email me. 

If you are interested in seeing the reading schedule and possibly joining some of the discussions also email me and I will add you to the list.

Happy reading in 2024!  

Deanna Blanchard

[email protected]


All Church Retreat January 12-14, 2024

Spiritually Alive:

Rooted and Grounded in Love

Hello friends, it is that time again:

our January All Church Retreat is booked for us at Daycholah Retreat Center on Green Lake for Friday January 12 – Sunday January 14. Registration is open from TODAY December 14- January 4. We encourage you to register as soon as possible. Register here and please pay registration fees on the website.


Pastor Kate & Pastor Julia are collaborating by organizing a special time of restoration and renewal for our whole church. Our worship theme in the New Year at ORUCC is “Faith in Action.” We believe living our faith out in the world requires deep spiritual nurture, so our All Church Retreat theme will be aimed at deepening our spiritual reserves through spiritual practice, titled “Spiritually Alive: Rooted and Grounded in Love.”


We know our families and children look forward to this time, and we love that those who value intergenerational fellowship and are able to make an effort to join, if only for the day on Saturday. Let us know if this is you!


If you’d like to join for the whole weekend the cost is $200 for adults and $140 for children (children under 5 are free). This includes lodging for two nights and meals Friday night (they do not allow potluck anymore for health code reasons), three meals Saturday and one meal Sunday. The church is able to supplement part of the weekend financially from our budget, which is already reflected in the cost.


We have partial and full scholarships available, so please reach out to us if financial help would make this more accessible for your family, or if you’d like to pay extra to sponsor someone anonymously.


Here are the registration links again:




We cannot wait to share time with you in the New Year!


Julia & Kate

Name Tags

The second batch of name tags is here! Please check to see if yours has arrived. The name tag board will be on the Gilbert Street side of the Crossroads. Magnetic name tags will be on the white board. Lanyard and pins will be in the tray below. If you need a “lanyard for your name tag” we have a few hanging on the side of the board. (We will order more name tags in January.)



The Christmas Fund is an annual special offering of the United Church of Christ. Each year at Christmas, UCC members are invited to give to this fund, created for the benefit of clergy and lay workers in our denomination. Orchard Ridge UCC has participated in generous ways for many years. 

Funds are disbursed in a timely and sensitive manner to benefit retired clergy with inadequate pensions, surviving clergy spouses whose needs may be great following the death of their spouse, retired church workers who often lack adequate pension plans, and currently serving pastors confronted with emergency financial needs. 

This year’s theme comes from John 1:16: “From Christ’s fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” The presence of God in our lives equips us to respond generously. 


Throughout December we will hear specific accounts of ways The Christmas Fund has proved essential for those who lead us in worship and mission across the United Church of Christ. Funds are collected by The Pension Boards of the UCC and are distributed carefully and thoughtfully for maximum benefit. 


Thank you for giving generously


You can make a donation by check, on the memo line, please write “compassion” and mail to ORUCC, 1501 Gilbert Road, Madison, WI 53711,

or donate online from our website. The link is https://orucc.org/contribute/support/

Sign Up Now Through the End of June 2024!

AT ORUCC, the Members are the Ministers!

We are seeking volunteers to serve on Sunday mornings for in-person worship. You need not be a member, simply a person who loves ORUCC and is eager to find a place to serve!

Young people are welcome to sign up too!

Would you consider serving one or more times as

a Coffee Maker, a Welcomer, a Lay Liturgist or

to assist with Holy Communion?

Feel free to sign up as an individual, a couple, or a family!

Click here to sign up as a Coffee Maker

Click here to sign up as a Welcomer

Click here to sign up as a Lay Liturgist

Click here to assist with Holy Communion

After selecting one or more dates, you will need to click “Submit and Sign Up” at the bottom of the page, then enter your name & email address, then click “Sign Up Now.”

Questions or problems signing up?

Contact Ken Pennings at [email protected] or 608-556-2371.

Indigenous Justice: What’s Next? A Conversation

Saturday January 27, 2024

9:00 am – 12:00 pm Friendship Hall

Save the date! Pastor Julia Burkey will be hosting a half-day retreat January 27th from 9am-12pm for any of our justice minded folks to wonder “what’s next” or “so what?” after dwelling in our Indigenous Justice theme for the last few months. All are welcome! Please RSVP to [email protected] if you plan to join. Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested.

In case of snow, we will meet virtually.

My hope is that we can create a land acknowledgement task force to work on crafting that statement, with the “so what” commitment (not just stating we are all on stolen land). On our agenda will be thinking together about how we use our building, grounds and financial resources in light of the radical call of the Land Back movement and our commitment to our neighborhood. We will be listening for any ideas that have emerged as potential action items that ORUCC could engage in that would be faithful to our commitment to justice.

Mark Your Calendars for the upcoming all-church 

Faith in Action Brunch 

Sunday, February 11, 2023, 11:15am

The Ministry of Christian Witness & Service is hosting this intergenerational event to: 

– Gather as a community & enjoy a meal together

– Inspire new connections

– Learn about and raise up our individual and collective outreach and justice work within and beyond ORUCC

– Have fun!

You won’t want to miss it. More details to come in January 2024!


Members of ORUCC are invited to apply for 2024-2025 college scholarships of $500 to $2,000 from the Frank E. Page Scholarship Fund. Applicants should be planning to begin or continue education at any accredited 2- or 4-year college or university and should have a record of academic achievement, service to church and community, and demonstrated financial need. The application deadline is February 15, 2024.

Contact [email protected] for an electronic application. Questions? Contact Ann Evensen at [email protected]

Virtual Wayfinding will gather on the 3rd Wednesday in person and virtually over ZOOM the 3rd Thursday from 4pm-5:15pm.

By Zoom on Thursdays: 04:00 PM Central Time


    Dec 21, 2023 04:00 PM

    Jan 18, 2024 04:00 PM

    Feb 15, 2024 04:00 PM

    Mar 21, 2024 04:00 PM

    Apr 18, 2024 04:00 PM

    May 16, 2024 04:00 PM

Click here to join Zoom meeting


Meeting ID: 879 9802 5473

Passcode: 573548

Dial in

1 312 626 6799 US 

OFFICE CLOSED 12-25-2023 through 1-1-2024

Office Manager Julie Wombacher

available Mon.-Thurs. 8:30am -12:00 pm

by appointment

608-271-7212 or EMAIL

Senior Pastor Julia Burkey

On call December 25- December 31

On vacation January 1-7th

Attending Conversations:

UCC Senior Pastors Conference

January 7-11th

518-542-6915 EMAIL

Associate Pastor Ken Pennings:

Off December 25- December 31

On call January 1-11

608-556-2371 EMAIL

Associate Pastor Kate Mackey

Off December 25- December 31

Away and tending to family grief and needs in early January

608-358-6143 EMAIL

LIKE or FOLLOW the Orchard Ridge FaceBook Page

JOIN our Private FB Group:

Members & Friends of Orchard Ridge UCC

Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ

1501 Gilbert Road

Madison, WI 53711


Office Hours: M-Th 8:30-12:30

Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest